Love Fest In My Front Yard

☆ January 30, 2018


When Daisy miscarried, I immediately began milking her twice a day. In the beginning, it wasn’t even about having her milk to drink. I was dumping it, as she’d been given a few shots by the vet and her milk wasn’t fit for man or beast while the medication was in her system. I milked her to keep her body producing milk so that, at some point, she could adopt a calf.

Calving season doesn’t start around here until February, and we don’t begin calving until March. I did not want to wait that long to find a baby, both for Daisy’s benefit and mine – the difference between milking once a day (when there’s a calf to help me out) and milking twice a day (when I’m on my own) is enormous. And I believed the sooner Daisy got a calf to call her own, the easier it would be on her. So I called a guy.

When I’m not milking Daisy, I buy two gallons of fresh, raw milk each week from a man who has a couple dozen dairy cows (who he milks by hand!! a god among men). He lives two hours north of here and delivers his milk to various towns in the area – selling raw milk is now legal in Wyoming, as it should be everywhere. While beef ranchers aim to have all their cows calve (have babies) once a year at the same time, dairy farmers tend to stagger this and have their cows calve at different times throughout the year, so that they have a constant, consistent supply of milk to sell.

So, I called my milkman on the epically remote chance that he might have a young, female calf that I could buy. He said he did have a heifer calf! Who was ten days old! But he didn’t want to sell her as he was planning to keep her for his herd. He offered to milk Daisy for me if I wanted to bring her up to his place, and I thanked him, but told him I wouldn’t be able to stand being that far away from Daisy and that I’d keep looking. He called back an hour later to tell me that he’d be willing to sell me his calf, after all! I think he realized she’d be going to a good home.

About a week after Daisy miscarried, after I was sure the medicine had run through her system, the milkman and I met halfway and transferred the calf from his truck to mine. She’s a Brown Swiss – a dairy breed (Daisy is 3/4 Brown Swiss, 1/4 Jersey) – so she will grow up to be a dairy cow, too! She was so calm and comfortable during the ride home, mellow and incredibly sweet.

I wasn’t sure how Daisy would react to her. Daisy always accepts orphans eventually, but sometimes it can take a week or two for her to really adopt them. In the past, there have been occasional bouts of dancing and kicking, when a calf loves Daisy but Daisy doesn’t yet love it back. When we put this sweet calf in the yard with Daisy, I was prepared for her to try to nurse and for Daisy to walk away. Instead, it was a beautiful union. Daisy saw the calf and dashed over to her with a mama moo that said, “THERE YOU ARE!!!!! I’ve been wondering where you were!!!!!!!!” And Daisy started licking the calf and the calf started nursing and they have been a total love match ever since.

I named the calf Mara, short for Marasmius oreades, the latin name for the Fairy Ring Mushroom. Brown Swiss cows have mushroom-colored coats (Daisy is an anomaly and though Mara has a light body now, her adult coat will likely match her face). And she is so fairy like! She is gentle and perky and sweet and sprightly (though her bones and joints are huge; I bet she’s going to get bigger than Daisy) and the way she came into our lives is truly due to magic.



65 Responses to “Love Fest In My Front Yard”

  1. Krisper
    January 30th, 2018 @ 7:14 am

    This news. A perfect way to start a morning!

  2. P&C
    January 30th, 2018 @ 7:20 am

    Beautiful ! Things do work out !!

  3. DeeAnne
    January 30th, 2018 @ 7:28 am

    My cows were all brown swiss…. sweetie pies!!!! Glad your girl got a baby!!

  4. Patr
    January 30th, 2018 @ 7:34 am

    She is a beautiful baby! So happy for her and Daisy. Brown Swiss are good dairy cows with lots of great cream. I love their ears too. (Okay, so I love all animal ears and want to rub them….. and MOST animals lean into too)

  5. torre
    January 30th, 2018 @ 7:36 am

    Mara is adorable!! those eyes :) and love at first sight for them both – fabulous! and I see a donate button for a meal for Daisy – yay! just donated. Does this also help the “retired” cows that you keep that can’t go into the production/breeding end of the business? I found that link once and i hope I book marked it but maybe a link for that too? i love to help support these efforts – since I can’t have a farm of my own right now….

  6. Joy
    January 30th, 2018 @ 7:53 am

    Like many others, I have been looking daily for ‘the rest of the story’. I was ‘at peace’ as I knew from the picture posted last week, Daisy had a baby BUT I was very anxious to know HOW she got that baby. Thank you for the sweet update.

  7. Cas
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:11 am

    All the love!! SO happy for you, Daisy and Mara :)

  8. Debbie Wahlbeck
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:14 am

    Lovely story Shreve, bless Daisy. Have,been waiting for news, it is wonderful, thank you for sharing with us. Xx

  9. Jane
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:15 am

    Tears… Can’t help it.

  10. Linda Kalend
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:24 am

    Just love these love stories…

  11. Linda Watson
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:35 am

    Oh. sigh. Now I can face the day. Thank you.

  12. Linda Lu
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:45 am

    She is so beautiful! Her eyes look so full of love.

  13. Anita Blair
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:46 am

    Awwww, so happy to hear this.

  14. shoefeather
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:48 am

    Enjoy my raw milk too! Monday deliveries to Ten Sleep from a gal in Hyattville.

  15. Debbie Reno
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:50 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this story! And the baby cow is just gorgeous! Congratulations on the newest member of the farmily!!!!!

  16. Wendy Marsh
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:52 am

    Love happy endings, and love to hear about your farmily!

  17. Sheri Nugent
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:53 am

    What a great story to wake up to!!! I’m so happy for your sweet babies.

  18. gabriellakp2017
    January 30th, 2018 @ 9:01 am

    I just love this, what a perfect ending and how lucky is Mara to have such a loving home. Just wondering what happened to Mara’s Mama that enabled you to adopt her, I know how connected cows are to their offspring and how Mamas will follow their babies if taken away.

  19. Katy
    January 30th, 2018 @ 9:05 am

    Happy for Daisy!
    But what about the calf’s “birth mother”? Her 10-day old baby was taken from her? Or did she reject it? Forgive me, I just want to understand.

  20. Barbara Sanchez
    January 30th, 2018 @ 9:11 am

    Such a beautiful story to jump start the day! Thank you for sharing, Shreve! Mara’s just BEAUTIFUL! Sounds like a match made in heaven!

  21. JoDi
    January 30th, 2018 @ 9:28 am

    You just made a very sad and disappointing day a little happier with that story. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. She is just beautiful!

  22. Vickie Zimmerman
    January 30th, 2018 @ 9:33 am

    AAAAWWWWWW!!!! I LOVE this beautiful story!! I will look forward to hearing more wonderful stories about her! Please give Charlie a hug from me! Thank you!!!

  23. shreve
    January 30th, 2018 @ 9:51 am

    G & K ~ Mara’s mama is still with the milkman – dairy farmers generally separate the calves and bottle-feed them with their mother’s milk. On larger commercial operations (which supply grocery stores), cows never see their calves after birth. The female calves are kept to become dairy cows and the male calves become veal – something a lot of vegetarians don’t realize.

  24. Lady Anne
    January 30th, 2018 @ 10:01 am

    What a great story to start the day – and almost the beginning of the week. The Squire and I are both delighted for Daisy and Mara.

    January 30th, 2018 @ 10:54 am

    Gorgeous pictures – such HAPPY news, made me cry happy tears of joy for both of them. Thank you for sharing this with us! Love to all the farmily!

  26. Meagan
    January 30th, 2018 @ 11:10 am

    Oh, this makes me so happy, hooray for mama and baby :) Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait for more pics of these two cuties!

  27. mj
    January 30th, 2018 @ 11:11 am

    Congratulations to you, Daisy and Mara! What a wonderful addition to the Farmily! It does sound like a perfect fairy tail, tragedy, trials and tribulations and a wonderful ending, which is really a new beginning:)

  28. mlaiuppa
    January 30th, 2018 @ 11:13 am

    What a wonderful story. Yes, Mara is going to a good home. But I’m wondering why the dairyman didn’t just offer the calf for Daisy to foster and then when she was grown, she could return to his herd. But this way is better. Daisy will have her foster daughter forever now.

    I’m going to e-mail you a painting I did of a cow in the Swiss Alps. Just like Mara is going to look when she grows up.

  29. wright1
    January 30th, 2018 @ 11:29 am

    Ah, how sweet. Welcome to the Farmily, Mara.

  30. Vee
    January 30th, 2018 @ 12:45 pm

    I love everything about this story. It’s all such sweetness. <3

  31. sourmilknightmares
    January 30th, 2018 @ 12:59 pm

    She is the most beautiful little thing! And how wonderful that she and Daisy took to one another right away!

  32. Carolyne
    January 30th, 2018 @ 1:12 pm

    After a long, horrible, no good day…..this made me feel better about life! Thanks!

  33. bonnie
    January 30th, 2018 @ 2:01 pm

    i can feel my grandfather smiling. he was a dairy farmer and a raw milk crusader. the dear man loved his cows! i’m sending your milkman a hug thru the ethers in bovine solidarity :)

  34. Marg
    January 30th, 2018 @ 2:18 pm

    I always worry a bit when something tragic happens and then I don’t hear anything for a couple of weeks. Yes I’m a born worrier! So happy this adoption went well for all involved.

  35. Nova Lockhart
    January 30th, 2018 @ 2:45 pm

    This heartwarming story brightened my day. Have been sick with the flu for over a week and this is just what was needed to lift my spirits. Mara is an adorable calf and she is lucky to be part of your family.

  36. Mimi
    January 30th, 2018 @ 3:38 pm

    A beautiful outcome, Shreve! So happy for sweet Daisy. Here’s to many more mama moos!

  37. Rose
    January 30th, 2018 @ 4:11 pm

    Thanks for the update! She’s a lucky baby to have Daisy for a mama that she won’t lose.

  38. Karen
    January 30th, 2018 @ 5:13 pm

    Farmily + one fairy!!

  39. Deborah
    January 30th, 2018 @ 5:40 pm

    Such good news! I am so happy for you all, esp. for Daisy. And that baby is adorable! Congratulations to all!

  40. Janet M
    January 30th, 2018 @ 6:33 pm

    Love and hugs (and ear rubs) to the newest member of the herd. And kisses to Daisy too.

  41. Rosemarie Mendes
    January 30th, 2018 @ 7:49 pm

    Have not correspond in quite a while. Love reading about your life and adventures. Daisy is a sweetheart and a wonderful mom to her adopted calf. Keep us posted.

  42. Sandy
    January 30th, 2018 @ 8:01 pm

    What a wonderful and sweet story! Beautiful mama and baby! Happy for all!

  43. Suzy
    January 30th, 2018 @ 9:41 pm

    After years of reading your sweet cow stories I just wish they allowed them in apartments.

  44. GD
    January 31st, 2018 @ 4:28 am

    She is just gorgeous! I am so glad it was love at first sight!

  45. Holly
    January 31st, 2018 @ 7:20 am

    A match made in heaven. What a sweet face Mara has. Daisy is a lucky Mama, and Mara a lucky calf …. All is well with the farmily..

  46. marie
    January 31st, 2018 @ 9:29 am

    faith and hope win out in the end. and love.

  47. scotty
    January 31st, 2018 @ 10:20 am

    happy happy ! yayyy ! but it made me sad to think that if Mara was a male he would probably have become veal. it’s gut wrenching how commercial operations treat veal cows. while i realize that a young 100 pound pig might be slaughtered for a pig roast, i still abhor the practice of preparing young cows to become veal. who eats veal anyway? i sure don’t. i regret posting this because your story about Mara made me very happy.

  48. Barbara
    January 31st, 2018 @ 12:14 pm

    I’m sure you have been taking lots of photos, so please, show us Daisy & child together when you have a chance.

  49. Bev
    January 31st, 2018 @ 12:56 pm

    Beautiful story! I’m so glad Daisy and Mara are together and a perfect match.

  50. Laura
    January 31st, 2018 @ 5:03 pm

    Mara is a little beauty! Thanks for the great story

  51. Ruth
    January 31st, 2018 @ 5:45 pm

    THANK YOU. I envision a Daisy related book in your (my) future… I deeply appreciated your writing about everyone in your farmily.

  52. Charity
    January 31st, 2018 @ 6:23 pm

    Yay!! So sweet! <3 And ditto to the Daisy book!

  53. Martha
    January 31st, 2018 @ 6:27 pm

    Back in high school I fell in love with a Swiss Brown named Becky – I went to one of the few Aggie high schools in the state. She was a beautiful girl. I have loved the Swiss Browns ever since. I am so happy for Daisy and Mara

  54. Sandy G.
    January 31st, 2018 @ 10:41 pm

    I would love to see more photos of Mara and Daisy. They are the most beautiful cows. I love their sweet faces and big ears and eyes! :-)

  55. Susan
    February 1st, 2018 @ 6:10 am

    OMG I’m in tears; happy tears. Such a magical moment. You are truly blessed to have such joy and magic in your life.

  56. karen
    February 1st, 2018 @ 10:51 pm

    got my third Beagle pup last week named her Mara to..Gaelic for sea..meaning sorrow,winter,bitter Her registered name Winter Goddess of Mara… love her

  57. BB/VA
    February 4th, 2018 @ 4:09 pm

    A beautiful baby!

    About raw milk, though – PLEASE be careful! My husband got tuberculosis from raw milk, and was not expected to see his 4th birthday (obviously, he made it). If you want to drink raw milk, make sure your supplier has a tested herd.

  58. Jacquie
    February 4th, 2018 @ 6:51 pm

    I want to love this post 1000x. So sweet to read.

  59. Candi M.
    February 7th, 2018 @ 9:55 am

    Oh!!! Mama moo joy! This brings me tears and such happiness for you. <3 We don't have cows on our farm, but we have Myotonic goats, and have been in similar situations from time to time. LOVE what you do and how you do it!

  60. Milaka Falk
    February 7th, 2018 @ 12:07 pm

    Oh, she is beautiful! What a sweet story. Thank you for sharing with us!

  61. Barbara
    February 7th, 2018 @ 9:24 pm

    Shreve, Here is something I just saw on the internet which I know you will love and understand.

  62. Lindsay in CA
    February 9th, 2018 @ 4:34 pm

    Wow reading this crying at my desk. I’m so sad for Daisy but so happy for her at the same time! I can’t wait to see how Mara grows – her coloring is gorgeous!

    (By the way, this is Lindsay who used to go by Lindsay in Oregon. I am in CA now so “Lindsay in Oregon” didn’t seem right, though it’s still an accurate statement for my heart and soul)

  63. Deanna
    March 4th, 2018 @ 10:45 am

    This has to be one of your all time most wonderful stories surpassed only perhaps by a calf in the kitchen.

  64. Sandy G.
    March 15th, 2018 @ 12:46 am

    A love story for sure! And Mara is sooooo cute!

  65. Karen Todd
    March 23rd, 2018 @ 9:57 am

    Shreve, I absolutely love hearing about your farmily! Mara sounds like a real gem! What a lovely and heartwarming story.

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